Discover: Carly’s Playlist, Nov. 9 -18

By Carly Preston, Contributor

Spotify’s Discover Weekly thus far has really never steered me wrong.  They have brought bands such as Vivian Girls, Screaming Females and The Slits into my life, acts that are now some of my favorites.  I was excited to take on this Discover Weekly challenge and find some new jams.

However, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I will provide some insight into my history with Spotify to begin.  I listen to Spotify everyday.  I do not use digital download much, so I am typically using CD’s or records at home, but on-the-go I tune into the music streaming app.

Yes, I know I am kind of trash for using it.  Streaming really screws over musicians for what they rightfully deserve, but I am content with being trash while I continue to identify as the broke college student I am.

Any who, on a daily basis I tune into a lot of riot grrrl punk and emo.  Also, I guess if I’m being fair, Motown and indie as well.  Obviously my music taste is a bit more expansive than these genres, but on a daily basis these provide me comfort during my travels.

So why Spotify chose to infiltrate my life with generic indie folk and boring ethereal noise I will never understand.

Let’s dive into it shall we?

The playlist started with “John Allyn Smith Sails” by Okkervil River, one the worst indie folk songs to ever grace an acoustic guitar. Truthfully, it sounds harsh, but the guitars were generic and the lyrics sounded like the ramblings of a jaded white boy. This band is the music equivalent of putting mayonnaise in a record player.

To liven up the playlist after all the blandness, I heard “Misanthropic Drunken Loner” by Days N’ Daze.  A song I could not work myself up finish because the males voice sounded as if he had just smoked an entire Marlboro factory, and not in a Bob Dylan-esque way.  If the first track was too boring, this track sure woke things up.  This song itself was a form a torture, even just for the two minutes I heard.

What I then assumed to be the mandatory adult contemporary track arrived about halfway through the playlist with “Lariat” by Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks.  A track I myself did not enjoy, but will pass along to my dad later.  This song was shortly followed by “Palomino” by Mates of State, a song whose chorus sounds like an advertisement used to convince hipsters to come to Coachella.

In order to convince those reading this I am not nearly as pessimistic as what I probably sound, this playlist did have some benefits. For instance it highlighted artists constantly recommended to me that I never really got around to listening. Artists such as Kevin Devine, I Kill Giants and KEY! (who I’ve heard a bit of before from his work with ILOVEMAKONNEN).  Ironically, these musicians accounted for three out of five new acts I would listen to again from this playlist.

The other tracks I liked tended toward musicians and songs I was already aware of. These non-new artists featured on my playlist included Julian Casablancas, Dads, Of Montreal, Twin Peaks, Salvia Plath and even Wilco.

The most interesting selection from the mind of Spotify was “I Wanna be a Witch” by Teen Suicide, song that I realistically listen to at least twice a week from a band that I would consider to be one my favorites.  It seemed as if Spotify put in tracks I already knew and enjoyed.

Over all, I would give my Discover Weekly playlist a C-.  It contained very little tunes I would return to and left me questioning why Spotify thinks I enjoy this stuff.

However, it did make me interested in what Spotify has in store for me next week.  While a lot of it was music I could never see myself enjoying, I kind of liked the shock of not knowing what was going to play next.  It was like a musical roller coaster or haunted house. I never knew what I was going to hear, but it still managed to excite and anticipate me.

Spotify will definitely catch me checking in on next week’s playlist.


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